dpkg-parsechangelog(1) dpkg suite dpkg-parsechangelog(1)
dpkg-parsechangelog - parse Debian changelog files
dpkg-parsechangelog reads and parses the changelog of an unpacked
Debian source tree and outputs the information in it to standard output
in a machine-readable form.
-l, --file changelog-file
Specifies the changelog file to read information from. A '-'
can be used to specify reading from standard input. The default
Specifies the format of the changelog. By default the format is
read from a special line near the bottom of the changelog or
failing that defaults to the debian standard format. See also
Obsolete option without effect (since dpkg 1.18.8). Setting the
perl environment variables PERL5LIB or PERLLIB has a similar
effect when looking for the parser perl modules.
-S, --show-field field
Specifies the name of the field to show (since dpkg 1.17.0).
The field name is not printed, only its value.
Show the usage message and exit.
Show the version and exit.
The following options can be used to influence the output of the
changelog parser, e.g. the range of entries or the format of the
Set the output format. Currently supported values are dpkg and
rfc822. dpkg is the classic output format (from before this
option existed) and the default. It consists of one paragraph in
Debian control format (see deb-control(5)). If more than one
entry is requested, then most fields are taken from the most
recent entry, except otherwise stated:
The highest urgency of all included entries is used,
followed by the concatenated (space-separated) comments
from all the versions requested.
The date of the entry as a string, as it appears in the
changelog. With a strptime(3) format "%a, %d %b %Y %T
%z", but where the day of the week might not actually
correspond to the real day obtained from the rest of the
date string. If you need a more accurate representation
of the date, use the Timestamp field, but take into
account it might not be possible to map it back to the
exact value in this field.
The date of the entry as a timestamp in seconds since the
epoch (since dpkg 1.18.8).
The Closes fields of all included entries are merged.
The text of all changelog entries is concatenated. To
make this field a valid Debian control format multiline
field empty lines are replaced with a single full stop
and all lines is intended by one space character. The
exact content depends on the changelog format.
The Version, Distribution, Urgency, Maintainer and Changes
fields are mandatory.
There might be additional user-defined fields present.
The rfc822 format uses the same fields but outputs a separate
paragraph for each changelog entry so that all metadata for each
entry is preserved.
--all Include all changes. Note: other options have no effect when
this is in use.
-s, --since version
Include all changes later than version.
-u, --until version
Include all changes earlier than version.
-f, --from version
Include all changes equal or later than version.
-t, --to version
Include all changes up to or equal than version.
-c, --count number
Include number entries from the top (or the tail if number is
lower than 0).
-o, --offset number
Change the starting point for --count, counted from the top (or
the tail if number is lower than 0).
It is possible to use a different format to the standard one, by
providing a parser for that alternative format.
In order to have dpkg-parsechangelog run the new parser, a line must be
included within the last 40 lines of the changelog file, matching the
Perl regular expression: "\schangelog-format:\s+([0-9a-z]+)\W". The
part in parentheses should be the name of the format. For example:
@@@ changelog-format: otherformat @@@
Changelog format names are non-empty strings of alphanumerics.
If such a line exists then dpkg-parsechangelog will look for the parser
as a Dpkg::Changelog::Otherformat perl module; it is an error for it
not being present. The parser name in the perl module will be
automatically capitalized. The default changelog format is debian, and
a parser for it is provided by default.
The parser should be derived from the Dpkg::Changelog class and
implement the required documented interface.
If the changelog format which is being parsed always or almost always
leaves a blank line between individual change notes, these blank lines
should be stripped out, so as to make the resulting output compact.
If the changelog format does not contain date or package name
information this information should be omitted from the output. The
parser should not attempt to synthesize it or find it from other
If the changelog does not have the expected format the parser should
error out, rather than trying to muddle through and possibly generating
A changelog parser may not interact with the user at all.
All Parser Options except for -v are only supported since dpkg 1.14.16.
Short option parsing with non-bundled values available only since dpkg
The changelog file, used to obtain version-dependent information
about the source package, such as the urgency and distribution
of an upload, the changes made since a particular release, and
the source version number itself.
188.8.131.52 2017-10-22 dpkg-parsechangelog(1)